Update on the Situation in Israel – FridayNovember 27, 2012
In the wake of a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas that took effect at 2 p.m. EST on November 21, Israeli officials were optimistic that the violence that has gripped Israel for eight days would finally end, but acknowledged that the conflict is “far from over.”
“Millions of Israelis are still under rocket fire or in bomb shelters. It’s too early to declare this finished, but we hope it will be,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren during a teleconference just after the cease-fire, held by The Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council of Public Affairs.
For most of the people in the affected regions, the last 8 days has been the reality they have faced on and off for the past 12 years. There are children for who rockets and bomb shelters are the norm – never having experienced anything different. It is not surprising that a recent study shows that almost half of children ages 12-13 in the town of Sderot demonstrate clinical symptoms related to post-trauma, the same goes for a third of the younger children.
Israeli professionals have developed highly effective responses and treatment for post-trauma stress, but we need to make sure that every child who requires treatment will receive it for as long as it’s needed. Considering the modest socioeconomic capacity of much of the South’s population, it is important that therapy be readily accessible and affordable.
As Israel remains vigilant, the work of Jewish Federations continues. Through our Israel Terror Relief Fund, we will continue to address the most critical needs in Israel, providing support to children, people with disabilities and special needs, seniors and families who are victims of terror.
The Ambassador offered profound thanks to the Obama administration, Congress and the entire North American Jewish community. He also recognized Jewish Federations for our immediate $5 million commitment to help the people of Israel. “We are greatly indebted to our friends throughout the Jewish community who have stood by us, who have called the Embassy with offers of support, and who have made their ideas and commitment to Israel known to local leadership and press,” he said.
Let us hope that this cease fire becomes a prelude for real, lasting peace.
Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund